Get Beefed Up for Summer; Healthy Beef Recipes

healthy beef recipes

Summer is finally here! And after months of staying home, the country is slowly opening up. I think it’s safe to say we’ve all had our fill of stress eatingman grilling and binge-watching Netflix. It’s time to ditch the comfort foods and lighten things up. Summertime means fresh produce, lighter food … and more grilling!  I’ve teamed up with the New York Beef Council to “talk beef” and share some healthy beef recipes. (this is a sponsored blog post)

Balance your plate

As a registered dietitian, my manta is all about balance. While there’s no one size fits all approach to nutrition, I promote certain principles including:

  1. Consume foods as unprocessed as possible.
  2. Eat a lot of fiber from whole grains, legumes, fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds.
  3. Balance your plate with ½ veggies/fruit, ¼ starches/legumes, ¼ protein and a little fat.
    -Vegetables/fruit provide fiber, vitamins minerals and disease fighting phytochemicals. Get veggie recipes HERE 
    -Whole grains/legumes provide fiber, vitamins, minerals and disease fighting phytochemicals.
    -Protein build muscle and bone, make enzymes, bolsters the immune defense system and facilitate chemical reactions in your body. Adding protein to meals also helps keep you feeling full longer. Protein is found in poultry, fish, meat, soy, nuts, seeds, legumes.
    -Fats provide fat soluble vitamins and essential fatty acids and energy. It also keeps you feeling full longer and make food taste good! Fats are found in oils, butter, avocado, nuts/seeds (also provide protein).

Nutritional benefits of beef

Whatever your health goals are, lean beef can fit into your plan (unless you eat plant-based diet!) The latest research suggests lean beef can be part of a heart healthy dietary pattern rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and nuts. This dietary pattern containing lean beef had a positive impact on cardiovascular disease risk factors comparable to the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension). This study highlights the importance of dietary patterns and how the intake of nutrient-rich whole foods can positively impact overall health.  Reference

Beef is packed with nutrients. A 3 oz cooked portion provides:

  • B12: 41% and B6: 24%  Both B vitamins play an important role in brain function and providing energy. All of these B vitamins help the body convert food into energy the body can use. B vitamins also do quite a bit of work behind the scenes, helping make red blood cells and nerves and facilitating a number of enzymatic reactions.
  • Selenium: 38%. Helps protect cells from damage.
  • Zinc: 39%  Plays an important role in immunity as well as many other functions.
  • Choline 13%. An essential nutrient choline for both brain and nervous system functioning upports nervous system development
  • Iron 14%. Helps your body use oxygen
  • Niacin 25%.  Supports energy production and metabolism.
  • Protein. Builds muscle and bone, make enzymes, bolster your immune defense system and facilitate chemical reactions in your body. 3 oz contains 25 grams of protein. High quality protein can help them hang onto the muscle mass they’ve built. Beef protein scores high for quality.And for you calorie counters, an average 3 oz portion provides 160 calories.

 

Best lean cuts for grilling

Time to fire up the grill. Here are some lean cuts of beef that are good for grilling. The nutritional content is based on 3 oz cooked, trimmed of visible fat. Not saying you have to keep to 3 oz, just a reference point!

  • Strip steak (160 cal, 6 gm fat, 25 gm protein) Tender, lean and perfect for grilling.
  • Top sirloin steak (150 cal,  4.9 gm fat, 26 gm protein)   A flavorful cut that’s versatile and juicy. Great served as a steak or cut into kabobs.
  • Flank steak  (160 cal, 6 gm fat, 23 gm protein)   Lean and boneless with lots of intense beef flavor. Best when marinated and grilled or sliced thin and stir-fried.
  • Tenderloin steak (filet mignon) (170 cal, 7 gm fat, 26 gm protein) This is the most tender steak, lean yet succulent, with a fine buttery texture. Sold boneless. This steak also meets government guidelines for lean.
  • Tri Tip Roast (150 cal, 7 gm fat, 22 gm protein) Boneless and fairly tender with full flavor. Roast or grill then slice across the grain.
  • Top Sirloin Filet Tender  (140 cal,  4.5 gm fat, 26 gm protein) thick and perfectly portioned from larger Top Sirloin Steaks. Season simply with salt and pepper or your favorite rub before grilling.

Tips to make your BBQ’s even healthier

Grilling can be one of the healthiest forms of cooking as you need minimal, if any added fats, and you control the ingredients. Here are some tips to make your grilled meals even healthier:

-Choose an assortment of protein, including lean beef, fish, poultry, and plant based options like veggie burgers.
-Add vegetables as salads, grilled veggies, veggie kabobs.
-Serve side dishes made from whole wheat pasta, beans/legumes, faro, quinoa and other whole grains versus your typical white pasta and potato salads loaded with mayo.
-Add healthy burger toppings like tomato, onion, avocado (but nothing wrong with mustard and ketchup too!)
-Try grilling fruits for dessert – or fruit part of the meal. See recipes below.

Healthy beef recipes for summer

Saving the best for last …recipes! I selected some of my favorite beef recipes from Beef What’s For Dinner website that are nutrient-packed and perfect for summer. Most of them involve grilling, but can also be cooked stovetop if you don’t have access to a grill. My choices include lighter options for summer that include plenty of fruits and veggies in addition to beef. Enjoy! For more recipes, check out their website. 

Classic beef kabobs

 

 

 

 

 

Beef steak salad with dried cherries |

Balsamic marinated flank steak 

Citrus marinated beef top sirloin fruit kabobs

Beef fajita salad with mango serrano vinaigrette

Steak street tacos with spicy pico de gallo

Grilled flank steak and peach salad 

Pomegranate steak with quinoa

 

 

Which one are you going to try?

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